Wages For Housework!
Wages for Housework is one of my favorite movements that will never happen but just talking about the possibility works to counteract the invisibility of this kind of labor. The Times has a nice roundtable debate on it.
Roundtabler #1, Noah Zatz, has great points:
If someone earns $15,000 and spends it on child care, the government sees income earned to help support the family. But if she cares for her kids herself, this economic activity disappears: no income, no work, no spending.
This economic invisibility has profound consequences. Unlike the low-wage worker, the “housewife” gets no credit for contributing to the household economy. That means no protection against future disability, unemployment or retirement via Social Security or related social insurance programs. Her labor also gets ignored by tax credits and other policies that support “working families” who struggle to make ends meet.
Heather Boushey, Roundtabler #2, advocates everyone spending a little bit less time at their paid jobs so they have time to do the laundry and so on. I also support this idea.
#3 is Milad Doroudian, who apparently doesn’t live in the world as it already exists, argues that paying for housework would create “disparity and inequality [in marriage], since money means power.” Lol, great point, Milad. You know what else creates disparity and inequality? NOT HAVING ANY MONEY AT ALL.
Porsche N. Moran thinks it should be left up to families, but looked at the going rate for all the various labor that housework entails, and her proposed wage is $96,000 a year. Overtime, y’all.
As for me, I say make men do all the housework and you will find them marching down Broadway by sundown.
No, in reality, if one partner’s job is to take care of the family / the house, they should have equal access to the finances and equal spending money to the one with the outside job. And when the working partner is at home, all tasks should be split. No coming home to drink a beer on the couch while the unpaid person is doing dishes, bathing the kids, etc etc. HELL NO.